Col. Larry F. Paul (Ret.), 71, of Onaway, Mich., died at home on Wednesday, Sept. 5, 2012.
The son of Carl and Mildred (Ferrenberg) Paul, Larry was born Nov. 14, 1940, in Gibsonburg, Ohio. On June 11, 1966, Larry married Judith Smith in Ohio. She preceded him in death. Eventually Larry met Linda (DeLong) Gargus and they were married in Fremont on June 23, 1995.
Larry was commissioned as a second lieutenant, Infantry, in June 1962 from ROTC at his graduation from The Ohio State University in Columbus. He spent nearly 12 years on active duty and 18 in the Army Reserves. His association with the 18th Infantry began in June 1968 when he was assigned as a company commander of C Company, 2nd Battalion, 18th Infantry, 1st Infantry Division in Vietnam. He commanded C Company until he was injured on Nov. 11, 1968. He retired in July 1992 as a colonel in the USAR. Larry was a proud alumnus of the U.S. Army War College in Carlisle, Pa.
As an American history teacher, he collected and participated in many shows and reenactments from the French and Indian War to the Civil War. He taught in Hilliard, Ohio, Lakota, Ohio, and Fremont public school systems as well as many classes at Terra Community College in the ElderCollege Program.
After retiring from the U.S. Army and his civilian occupation as a teacher, Larry presented many “Living History” Programs to schools and civic organizations portraying the life of enlisted soldiers in wars from the American Civil War, World War I, World War II, and Vietnam. He presented many historical displays of soldiers’ uniforms and accouterments at Army reunions and military shows, winning several awards.
Larry dedicated himself to locating fellow soldiers with whom he served in Vietnam. He encouraged them to attend the Society of the 1st Infantry Division annual reunions. He served as executive director of the 18th Infantry Regiment Association and was awarded Distinguished Member of the Regiment. During this time he was also awarded the National Infantry Association Order of St. Maurice Medal. Larry was a life member of Fremont VFW Post 2947 and a past post commander, a life member of the Special Forces Association, The Society of the 1st Infantry Division, and AMVETS.
He loved to shoot muzzle-loading rifles and participated in the National Muzzle-loading Rifle Association Championships in Friendship, Ind., receiving the Master Revolver at 50 Yards Medal in 1984. One of his military assignments was Reserve Commanding Officer for the Camp Perry Matches at Camp Perry.
As an avid hunter, Larry was a proud and active supporter of Ducks Unlimited, having served as chairman of the Fremont Ducks Unlimited Chapter for many years. He was proud of being named the 1st DU Ohio Volunteer Conservationist of the Year in 2006. He also attended and sponsored Pheasants Forever and the Ruffed Grouse Society banquets. He was a member and historian for the DeMars Point Hunting and Fishing Club.
In 2003 Larry’s love of the outdoors brought him to Northern Michigan from Ohio and in 2006 he made Northern Michigan his permanent home. Larry was lifetime member of the Black Lake Sportsman’s Club and a member of St. Paul Catholic Church in Onaway.
In his spare time, Larry enjoyed having “tables” at gun shows, military shows, and sporting collectible shows such as the Ohio Decoy Collectors and Carvers Show in Westlake, Ohio, where he was awarded Best Display in the March Event. Other hobbies included snowmobiling, watching sporting events, especially baseball and Ohio State games, encouraging others in the joy of shooting, hunting, fishing, off-roading in his 1987 Jeep Wrangler, and spending time with family and friends.
Surviving is Larry’s wife of 17 years, Linda Paul, of Onaway; stepdaughter, Laura (Christopher) Ward, of Fremont; stepson, Mark Gargus, of Sauk Rapids, Minn.; grandsons, Noah, Braden, Trenton, Drew, Tysen and Landon; and sister, Ann (Marvin) Flegle, of Alexandria, Ohio.
There will be a memorial mass for Larry at 11 a.m. on Saturday, Sept. 8, at St. Paul Catholic Church in Onaway. The Rev. Peter Eke will officiate. There will be a second memorial service and Military Honor Guard Ceremony for Larry at 11 a.m. Saturday, Sept. 15, at the Fremont VFW Post 2947, 204 Birchard Ave., Fremont. A luncheon and social will follow.
His family has suggested donations to honor the memory of Larry F. Paul be made to St. Paul Catholic Church, Ducks Unlimited, or to the Society of the 1st Infantry Division.
Send a memory of Larry or a condolence to his family at chagnonfh.com.